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pdplot
01-19-2017, 09:46 PM
Watching Wheeler Dealers, I'm always amazed at the specialized machine shops and sophisticated machinery they seem to find over there. I don't know about [;aces like Southern California, but in my part of the country, I know of no shops that could rebuild esoteric car parts like Mercedes fuel injection, etc. Am I missing something? IMHO, what we have on this side of the pond are replacement artists. Replace parts until the problem is solved - if ever - at the owner's expense. Are there any shops over here that have the sophisticated machines they show on W/D and the technicians who know how to use them like Edd China?

DrEntropy
01-19-2017, 09:59 PM
Much too late (we're shut down for the most part) but we've done restoration of everything from old (1926) Rolls cars to 300SL Benz cars, each one "rang the bell" as examples. Now we're "retired" and basically bemoan the loss of craftsmanship and dedication to originality. Those days are GONE now.

"Wheeler Dealers" are "flippers" in my estimation. Sad but true.

The audience for craftsmanship has given way to a new generation of instant gratification.

HealeyRick
01-19-2017, 10:23 PM
This one is close by me: https://paulrussell.com/rShop/

JPSmit
01-19-2017, 10:59 PM
Much too late (we're shut down for the most part) but we've done restoration of everything from old (1926) Rolls cars to 300SL Benz cars, each one "rang the bell" as examples. Now we're "retired" and basically bemoan the loss of craftsmanship and dedication to originality. Those days are GONE now.

"Wheeler Dealers" are "flippers" in my estimation. Sad but true.

The audience for craftsmanship has given way to a new generation of instant gratification.

It seems like on the one hand there are more restoration shops but fewer speciality shops - around here there are some very high end restoration shops - we had a shop day on Saturday and they were talking about the one - bring your car and $5k per month till they are done, the other is your car plus $20. Mind they are restoring Cobras and Ferraris etc.

That said specialists are getting scarcer. There are a few like Jeff - Advanced Distributor and Peter - rebuilding shocks, but I know here in Toronto, there is a carb shop near by where the owners are just getting older and a machine shop that just closed - there was just no money in it - and the owner wasn't getting paid.

However, Britain is also a small country - with lots and lots of quirky hobbies - so the businesses that here would be spread out over the country or even the continent - there are distributed in a country about the size of Alabama. It does also seem that there are more tinkerers there - though they could just be distributed more tightly as well.

I agree Doc, they are flippers (Wheeler Dealer) but, at least they are honest about it - and they rarely make much - and nothing at all if labour were included - I enjoy the show more for the repairs than the buying and selling.

GTP1960
01-19-2017, 11:34 PM
While it is true, vintage automotive specialist are a rare breed: On the other hand think about this.

there has never been so much information, so many part sources available, so much help ( all-be-it online), as right now.

thanks to this web system we use every day that wasn't even a dream in star trek back in the day.

i know I would never have even tried to restore a car 20 years ago.
come to think of it, it's probably these very resources that spelled the doom of the vintage car specialist.

Boink
01-20-2017, 12:44 AM
I agree Doc, they are flippers (Wheeler Dealer) but, at least they are honest about it - and they rarely make much - and nothing at all if labour were included - I enjoy the show more for the repairs than the buying and selling.

Me too. It annoys me that they'll put a rusty bolt back in (when it would be so easy to tidy things up a bit more). They surely don't make any money if they factor in Ed's labor.

PAUL161
01-20-2017, 09:14 AM
I remember years ago when I started restoring cars, (American cars), parts were obtained by word of mouth, swap meets, flea markets and sometimes a part had to be made. Hershey and Carlisle were key parts suppliers back then, if you were lucky, but you had to wait for the events, usually once a year. Today getting parts is a breeze with the Internet, all makes and models. Getting foreign car parts back then was another story. The Internet and the parts dealers we have today give everyone an open door to get what your looking for easily. A lot of folks gripe about the prices for services rendered, all I say is, get a grip, be thankful these dedicated folks are there serving our needs and remember, their profit margin is pretty small, but they have taxes to pay, family's to care for and their costs to remain in business is constantly rising as well. PJ

TOC
01-20-2017, 01:45 PM
When WD does their US shows, they always seem to find that person or shop capable of rebuilding about anything.
That said, I do appreciate the work WD does, but I would never, ever buy one of their completions.

The rusty bolt mentioned is but part of the problem.

The rusty part the bolt held in place is the bigger issue.

If you're taking it apart, and you have the shot blast cabinet in the shop anyway, fix it.
Pans, brackets, braces, suspension bits...even drivelines...Clean 'em up, paint 'em up.

Opinion.

DrEntropy
01-20-2017, 10:08 PM
The rusty bolt mentioned is but part of the problem.

The rusty part the bolt held in place is the bigger issue.

If you're taking it apart, and you have the shot blast cabinet in the shop anyway, fix it.
Pans, brackets, braces, suspension bits...even drivelines...Clean 'em up, paint 'em up.

Perfect explanation for goin' "the whole nine yards". Or th' last inch.

pdplot
01-20-2017, 10:22 PM
In my cellar I have an electric motor with a grindstone and a steel wire brush. I polish and clean every nut and bolt I take off unless too rusty and worn. Real idiot therapy. I also clean my wife's pots and pans.

JPSmit
01-20-2017, 10:27 PM
Me too. It annoys me that they'll put a rusty bolt back in (when it would be so easy to tidy things up a bit more).

Oh that just makes me crazy - just wipe the thing down - and don't buy new wheels and not new wheel nuts!